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Programming & Activities

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." To most, it's just an old saying, but for the fifth graders of Wesley-Rankin Community Center's summer program it was an educational life lesson. Dallas Afterschool led volunteers from Bernstein Global Wealth Management to demonstrate the importance of learning through trial and error to a group of 20 children at Wesley-Rankin Community Center in July. The six teams of students and volunteers each worked to perfect the art of "Balloon Bowling."

Using string, balloons, chenille stems, duct tape and straws, each team worked to knock over a pyramid of 10 Dixie cups, earning specific points for each cup knocked over. The competition was held in a series of three rounds. After each round the children eagerly ran back to their tables to collaborate and refine their design. 

Cynthia, a member of the all-girl "Team Smarty Pants," came up with an idea called  "the wrecking ball" due to its success.  Volunteer Ken commended the children on their ability to problem-solve, "The kids picked it up quickly. Their original hypothesis was flawed, but they figured out how to make it work."

All of the students embraced the educational message hidden in the game. "I learned that it's not all about power, like people think," Chris, a member of the winning team declared after the final round. "It's about design. You have to be smart. You have to fix the design, not just add more stuff."  Chris' takeaway proved that the lesson served its purpose. The children learned to experiment through trial and error--a lesson they will take with them into the new school year.

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